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Understanding Plot - The Structure of a Story

plot, plot diagram, Freytag's Pyramid, story, story structure, characters, themes, conflict
by

Elizabeth Suchanski

on 27 August 2014

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Transcript of Understanding Plot - The Structure of a Story

Understanding Plot
A plot is a map of a story from start to finish.
1. Exposition
2. Inciting Incident
4. Rising Action
5. Climax
6. Falling Action
7. Resolution
Dénouement
In the exposition, we learn about
Stories tend to follow an arc with a defined beginning, middle, and end. They also have dynamic characters, lots of action, multiple settings, and different conflicts. Without these pieces, a story fails. It will not hold the readers attention because it is incomplete.
The inciting incident
sets the rest of the story in motion
by beginning the rising action. It creates the primary conflict within the story, but probably not the only one.
Falling action is
any action in the story that follows the climax
. Conflicts are resolving, problems are ending. We know that the story is wrapping up.
At this point,
the protagonist has solved the main conflict or problem solved for her/him
.
Think of the dénouement as the opposite of the exposition. Any remaining questions are answered, and any remaining mysteries are solved. We, now, know the rest of the story.
Rising action is a
series of events that build tension and lead to the climax.

They happen because the conflict exists. This is where an author hooks a reader, with lots of interesting details and events.
The climax is
the turning point in the story, the moment of the most intensity
. This is a "point of no return"; it is impossible for the story to go back to the way things were in the past.
As we go through the video, remember the following:

Stop and take notes when you see the
Power of the Pause: pause as often as you need to!
Use the rule of 5: write down the ideas in your own words using 5 words or less.
By the end of this video, you will have reviewed and know the different parts of a plot, written definitions, and completed a practice plot map.
Without that structure, you wouldn't have a story.
It is the structure and events of a story.

The exposition
provides background information needed to truly understand the story.
-
Setting
where and when the story takes place (place AND time)
-Main
characters
, especially the
Protagonist
: main character
Antagonist
: person or force that works against the protagonist
- the
situation
before the action starts
1. Exposition:
Single dad worried about son
son has a bum fin
Marlin and Nemo
Place: Great Barrier Reef off Australia
Time: Present Day
1. Exposition:
Single dad worried about son
son has a bum fin
Marlin and Nemo
Place: Great Barrier Reef off Australia
Time: Present Day
2. Inciting Incident:
Australian divers come to take pictures and leave with Nemo.
1
1
2
3. Conflict
The conflict is
the problem or struggle between two forces in a story
. Without conflict, there is no plot.
Types of Conflict:
• human vs. human
• human vs. nature
• human vs. society
• human vs. self
1. Exposition:
Single dad worried about son
son has a bum fin
Marlin and Nemo
Place: Great Barrier Reef off Australia
Time: Present Day
2. Inciting Incident:
Australian divers come to take pictures and leave with Nemo.
1
2
3 Conflict: Marlin needs to get his son back and both he and his son need to learn confidence in each other.
1. Exposition:
Single dad worried about son
son has a bum fin
Marlin and Nemo
Place: Great Barrier Reef off Australia
Time: Present Day
2. Inciting Incident:
Australian divers come to take pictures and leave with Nemo.
1
2
3 Conflict: Marlin needs to get his son back and both he and his son need to learn confidence in each other.
4. Rising Action: events like . . .
meeting Dory
meeting the sharks
Dealing with the jelly fish
meeting Crush, the turtle
Nemo becoming friends with the tank fish
Nemo trying to escape from the tank
1. Exposition:
Single dad worried about son
son has a bum fin
Marlin and Nemo
Place: Great Barrier Reef off Australia
Time: Present Day
2. Inciting Incident:
Australian divers come to take pictures and leave with Nemo.
1
2
3 Conflict: Marlin needs to get his son back and both he and his son need to learn confidence in each other.
4. Rising Action: events like . . .
meeting Dory
meeting the sharks
Dealing with the jelly fish
meeting Crush, the turtle
Nemo becoming friends with the tank fish
Nemo trying to escape from the tank
5
5. Climax: Nemo has to escape from Darla or die.
1. Exposition:
Single dad worried about son
son has a bum fin
Marlin and Nemo
Place: Great Barrier Reef off Australia
Time: Present Day
2. Inciting Incident:
Australian divers come to take pictures and leave with Nemo.
1
2
3 Conflict: Marlin needs to get his son back and both he and his son need to learn confidence in each other.
4. Rising Action: events like . . .
meeting Dory
meeting the sharks
Dealing with the jelly fish
meeting Crush, the turtle
Nemo becoming friends with the tank fish
Nemo trying to escape from the tank
5
5. Climax: Nemo has to escape from Darla or die.
6. Falling Action
Nemo and his dad are reunited.
Nemo saves Dory
1. Exposition:
Single dad worried about son
son has a bum fin
Marlin and Nemo
Place: Great Barrier Reef off Australia
Time: Present Day
2. Inciting Incident:
Australian divers come to take pictures and leave with Nemo.
1
2
3 Conflict: Marlin needs to get his son back and both he and his son need to learn confidence in each other.
4. Rising Action: events like . . .
meeting Dory
meeting the sharks
Dealing with the jelly fish
meeting Crush, the turtle
Nemo becoming friends with the tank fish
Nemo trying to escape from the tank
5
5. Climax: Nemo has to escape from Darla or die.
6. Falling Action
Nemo and his dad are reunited.
Nemo saves Dory
7.
7. Resolution
Marlin finally tells his whole joke.
Marlin is no longer over protective of his son.
Nemo is confident and happy.
That's All Folks!
You've finished watching!

Last Steps: Write your summary for the video and your HOT question on your note page.

Make sure your notes are complete and submit them to Schoog before you come to class.

If you used a paper copy of the guided notes, take a good quality picture, load them into Notability, and make the picture large enough to fill the page before submitting it.
Finding Nemo Example
Full transcript